There is no doing justice to one of Fr. Jeff’s homilies, but not to try is to leave you without the tickling touch of heaven. He usually is very personal with bits and pieces from his life, this time as a national guard chaplain. Last week brought the realities of the motor pool to bear on his celebration of the Mass. He went head to head with the jet sounds of an air pump. He eventually had to scrap a “really wonderful sermon” (laughing at his humility) in the loosing battle for volume dominance.
The experience was not without its reward. Fr. Jeff came away thinking of the noisy society that clamors with sound bites and distraction for our conscious attention, while actually driving us to distraction and semi-consciousness.
Morning after morning
he opens my ear that I may hear;
And I have not rebelled, have not turned back. (Isaiah 50:4-5)
With the words from the scripture still echoing in our ears, Fr. Jeff reminded us of the still small voice that morning after morning speaks to us and the Lord who “opens my ear that I may hear.”
All this week, we will be hearing the salvation story retold once again. Will it be received as so much noise, something we’ve heard before with no special clarity of nuance or message. Will we “hear the subtleties of the orchestra for the life of our soul and hearts.”
Here again, Fr. Jeff got personal. This time it was the $40 ear buds he was coaxed to buy with promises of sounds he’d never heard before. “Sure”, he thought somewhat cynically, but took the bait, none-the-less. He sprang for the pricey thingies.
Once wired for sound, Fr. Jeff listened to his music and heard sonorous sounds he’d never heard before, nuances and subtleties, tone and clarity. He’d paid the price, and it was worth every penny ! For us in church this morning, it was a clarion call to listen again, to incline an an open ear. I think of the young apostle John with his ear to our Lord’s heart at the Last Supper.
Jesus’ story is the same year after year but there are subtleties and an ever newness for us this brand new day. Be conscious, by a prayer and an act of the will! “Morning after morning, he opens my ear that I may hear; And I have not rebelled, have not turned back”